Incorporates creative and developmentally appropriate techniques to help them process and heal from traumatic experiences. One such technique involves integrating EMDR principles with sand therapy, a modality that utilizes a tray of sand and miniature objects or figurines.

Here’s how EMDR with sand therapy for children typically works:

  • 1- Establishing Safety and Trust: Before beginning EMDR with sand therapy, the therapist establishes a safe and trusting therapeutic relationship with the child. This involves creating a comfortable environment where the child feels secure and supported.
  •  2-Introduction to Sand Therapy: The therapist introduces the child to the sand therapy tray, explaining its purpose and inviting the child to explore and interact with the materials. The sand tray typically contains a shallow layer of sand and an assortment of miniature objects or figurines representing various themes and emotions.
  • 3- Identification of Target Memory: The therapist works with the child to identify a specific traumatic memory or distressing experience that the child wants to address during the EMDR session. This memory serves as the target for the therapeutic work.
  •  4-Bilateral Stimulation: Bilateral stimulation, a key component of EMDR therapy, is incorporated into the sand therapy session. Instead of traditional eye movements, which may be challenging for some children, bilateral stimulation can take the form of tapping, hand movements, or auditory cues. The therapist guides the child through bilateral stimulation while they focus on the target memory and associated emotions.
  • 5- Exploration and Expression: As the child engages in bilateral stimulation, they are encouraged to create a scene in the sand tray that represents their target memory or feelings related to it. The child selects miniature objects or figurines from the tray to represent different elements of the memory, such as people, places, or emotions.
  •  6-Processing and Integration: While the child constructs their sand tray scene and experiences bilateral stimulation, the therapist facilitates the processing and integration of the traumatic memory. The child may verbally express their thoughts, feelings, and sensations as they interact with the sand tray, allowing them to externalize and make sense of their experiences in a non-threatening way.
  •  7- Reflection and Closure: After the child has completed their sand tray scene and processing, the therapist guides them in reflecting on their experience and discussing any insights or emotions that arose during the session. The therapist helps the child develop coping strategies and positive affirmations to reinforce the healing process. The session concludes with a sense of closure and reassurance.


  • EMDR with sand therapy provides children with a tangible and expressive means of processing traumatic experiences, promoting emotional healing, and fostering resilience and self esteem . By integrating play and creativity into the therapeutic process, children can engage more fully in their healing journey in a developmentally appropriate manner.


The Detrimental Effects of Cell Phone Use on Children and Teenagers’ Mental Health:


The widespread use of cell phones has revolutionized the way we communicate, access information, and entertain ourselves. However, the growing dependency on cell phones, especially among children and teenagers, has raised concerns about its impact on their mental health. While these devices provide numerous benefits, excessive and unregulated cell phone use can have detrimental effects on the psychological well-being of young individuals. This article explores the negative consequences of cell phone use on children and teenagers’ mental health and highlights the importance of fostering a healthy relationship with technology. A study done by UK Millennium Cohort Study, showed strong correlation of depressive symptoms and the use of social media. The study reported 50% increase in depressive symptoms among girls and 35% among boys. Girls were more likely to have low self-esteem, to body weight dissatisfaction, and to be unhappy with their appearance. Girls and boys were also likely to report fewer hours of sleep and disrupted sleep and self-image unsatisfaction.

Social Isolation and Loneliness:

One of the primary concerns associated with excessive cell phone use among children and teenagers is the increased risk of social isolation and loneliness. Spending excessive time on digital platforms can lead to reduced face-to-face social interactions, impairing the development of crucial social skills. Frequent scrolling through social media feeds can also create a distorted perception of reality, leading to feelings of inadequacy and exclusion. Sleep Disturbances: Cell phones often disrupt sleep patterns, a critical aspect of mental well-being, especially among young individuals. The blue light emitted by screens interferes with the production of melatonin, a hormone responsible for regulating sleep cycles. Excessive cell phone use, particularly during nighttime, can delay sleep onset and diminish sleep quality, leading to fatigue, mood swings, and difficulties in concentrating.

Cyberbullying and Online Harassment:

Children and teenagers are vulnerable to cyberbullying and online harassment, which can have severe consequences on their mental health. The constant connectivity provided by cell phones exposes young individuals to potential online threats, such as cyberbullying, hate speech, and harassment. Victims of these digital aggressions often experience anxiety, depression, and a decreased sense of self-worth.

Anxiety and Depression:

Excessive cell phone use has been linked to increased levels of anxiety and depression among children and teenagers. Constant exposure to social media and online platforms can intensify feelings of peer pressure, comparison, and fear of missing out (FOMO). Additionally, cyberbullying incidents or exposure to disturbing content can trigger or exacerbate mental health conditions.

Decreased Academic Performance:

Cell phones can significantly impact academic performance by causing distractions and reducing productivity. The allure of constant notifications, messaging, and the temptation to browse social media can divert attention from studying and learning. Excessive cell phone use has been associated with decreased focus, diminished memory retention, and overall lower academic achievement.

Mitigating the Detrimental Effects:
To mitigate the detrimental effects of cell phone use on children and teenagers’ mental health, a comprehensive approach is necessary:
• Setting Limits: Parents and caregivers is advised establish clear guidelines and restrictions regarding cell phone use, ensuring designated “screen-free” times and promoting alternative activities such as outdoor play, reading, or engaging in hobbies.
• Digital Literacy and Online Safety: Educating young individuals about responsible online behavior, the importance of privacy, and recognizing and reporting cyberbullying or harassment is crucial in fostering a safe and healthy online environment.
• Encouraging Face-to-Face Interactions: Promoting face-to-face interactions and meaningful social connections can help counteract the isolating effects of excessive cell phone use. Encourage and promote situations in which children and teenagers participate in extracurricular activities, community engagements, and spend quality time with friends and family.
• Creating Tech-Free Zones: Designate certain areas or times in the house where cell phone use is not allowed, such as during meals or before bedtime, to promote quality family time and uninterrupted rest.
• Leading by Example: Parents, teachers, and caregivers should model healthy cell phone use by reducing their own screen time, especially during meals and being present and engaged when interacting with children and teenagers. Do not interrupt the play time with your child to text message or use the cell phone. Try to maintain your cell phone away from you during these times.
While cell phones have become an integral part of our lives, their excessive use can have significant negative effects on the mental health of children and teenagers. It is crucial to strike a balance and establish healthy habits regarding cell phone use. By fostering face-to-face interactions, promoting digital literacy, and setting limits, we can ensure that young individuals develop a positive relationship with technology while safeguarding their mental well-being.
The Millennium Cohort Study (MCS), known as ‘Child of the New Century’ to cohort members and their families, is following the lives of around 19,000 young people born across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in 2000-02


Imagine leaving your home, where you were born, spent your childhood, made friends, and created memories, a place so close to your heart where you learnt everything you know, your culture, your values, your perspective of life.

Sometimes moving can be exciting, a new beginning and a new chance. The reality, however, is not all positive, even when one is moving in privileged circumstances.

Research shows that there are a few psychological stages involved in the process of acculturation:

Honeymoon, Crisis, Recovery, and Adjustment.


If you voluntarily moved to a country in a safe and legal circumstances this phase often involves excitement with the new, discovery and it is considered a positive phase, especially if you are already fluent on the language spoken.

The person starts experiencing the culture shock, feelings of sadness, homesickness, anger, frustration, social isolation, and even more serious issues such as depression, illness and problems with self-esteem. Often this happens because the person is having difficulties integrating the new culture customs and moral values. Therefore, lots of confusion of what is right or wrong tends to take place.

The Integration and Adjustment phase involves the acceptance of the new culture norms, and slowly the person starts integrating and even practicing some new values. Finding the balance between who you are in your culture of origin, and who you are becoming in the new culture is vital for a healthy transition.

Suggestions to improve negative emotions

Feelings are not Permanent

Remember that everything in life is temporary, experiencing negative emotions with changes is common to any transition. Remember that you must give time for yourself to create a routine and adapt to the new lifestyle.

Look for Community Resources, Support Group

Keep in touch with your family and your friends from your country. Find people that are going through similar experience. Find a place where you can get food supplies from your home country. Visit restaurants from your country if existent where you are. If you use social media look for groups from your country living where you are living.


Practice self care and self compassion. Avoid blaming yourself for not adapting or speaking the language perfectly yet.

Speak and Reach Out

Try to make friends who are going through a similar process, call your family back home, or see a mental health professional, avoid isolation. Do not stop speaking because you think you don’t speak the language fluently. Most people are not judging you while you are speaking, and they view that as an act of courage and effort.

Be Curious rather than Judgmental

Give yourself time to get know more about other people’s values and culture. Be open minded to learn new things about others.

Make an effort to learn the language of the country you are living

Communication is a survive tool. Not being able to communicate can generate isolation and loneliness, confusion and shame.



Have you ever experienced a situation where a sensation like an image or a sound brought you back to an experience within seconds?

Have you ever noticed a coworker handling a stressful situation with a smile or sense of humor while you are ruminating about it?

Our perceptions and behaviors are based upon our past experiences, and this becomes encoded in our memories. We all have different experiences, some of which can be traumatizing. These traumatic experiences can negatively affect our behavior years from when they occurred.

EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, is a form of psychotherapy for adults , teens, and children that specifically targets these adverse life experiences and helps the brain reprocess them.
As we grow up, our minds are like blank slates, collecting information around our environment. Our previously formed perceptions, some of which may be negative, determine how we react to situations. Even as adults, we continue collecting information and reacting to our environment. If not processed, even recent negative events or unprocessed and unrecognized childhood traumatic memories can lead us to accumulative unresolved issues that make us feel stuck, anxious keeping us from performing at our best.

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy is a psychotherapy approach primarily used to treat trauma-related disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or complex and relational trauma. The positive outcomes associated with EMDR therapy stem from its unique methodology and effectiveness in processing traumatic memories.

Here are some of the positive outcomes often reported by individuals who undergo EMDR therapy:

Reduction in Traumatic Symptoms: EMDR therapy aims to alleviate symptoms associated with trauma, such as intrusive thoughts, flashbacks, nightmares, and hyper-vigilance. By reprocessing traumatic memories, individuals often experience a significant reduction in these symptoms, leading to an improved quality of life.

Increased Emotional Regulation: Trauma can disrupt emotional regulation, leading to heightened emotional responses and difficulties in managing emotions. EMDR therapy helps individuals process traumatic memories in a way that promotes emotional healing and regulation. As a result, individuals may experience a greater sense of control over their emotions and reactions.

Enhanced Cognitive Functioning: Trauma can impact cognitive functioning, including attention, concentration, and memory. EMDR therapy assists individuals in integrating traumatic memories, which can lead to improvements in cognitive functioning. This may include increased clarity of thought, better concentration, and enhanced memory recall.

Improved Self-Esteem and Self-Concept: Trauma can negatively affect one’s self-esteem and self-concept, leading to feelings of worthlessness, shame, and self-blame. Through the processing of traumatic memories and the resolution of associated negative beliefs, individuals often experience a boost in self-esteem and a more positive self-concept.

Empowerment and Resilience: EMDR therapy empowers individuals by helping them confront and process traumatic experiences in a safe and controlled environment. As individuals work through their trauma and its associated symptoms, they often develop a greater sense of resilience and inner strength, which can serve them well in coping with future challenges.

Reduction in Avoidance Behaviors: Individuals who have experienced trauma may engage in avoidance behaviors as a coping mechanism to avoid reminders of the traumatic event. EMDR therapy helps individuals confront and process these memories, reducing the need for avoidance behaviors and allowing them to engage more fully in their lives.

Enhanced Interpersonal Relationships: Trauma can strain interpersonal relationships due to difficulties in trust, communication, and emotional intimacy. By addressing and resolving traumatic memories, individuals may experience improvements in their relationships, as they are better able to communicate their needs, establish boundaries, and trust others.

Overall, the positive outcomes of EMDR therapy are rooted in its ability to facilitate the processing and integration of traumatic memories, leading to symptom reduction, emotional healing, and improved overall well-being.



About the Author

Karine Bertram is Marriage & Family Therapist who is highly trained in EMDR Therapy. She has treated several clients and had many successful outcomes with EMDR treatment. Her goal is to help you fall in love with life again and free you from anything standing in your way.

physological impact of infertility

The Psychological Impact of Infertility

According to CDC about 19% (1 in 5) of the population in the US struggle with infertility. Long-term failure to have a child could cause severe emotions such as grief, anger, anxiety, and embarrassment. Coping with difficult healthcare decisions and the emotions involved in the process can affect several areas of one’s life. It can affect marital, friends and family relationships. It is critical to learn how to manage feelings, seek the help you need, so perspective on life is as positive as possible. Coping with the emotional struggles of medical treatment and anxiety about results, as well as choices, is one of the most stressful facets of infertility treatment. Inability to get or keep pregnancy can be the most difficult emotional crises that a family encounter together.
Here are some possible psychological effects of infertility challenges that both men, and women, may experience:

Social Isolation

The news that you may be infertile may hurt your status quo, developing a feeling of embarrassment. This can be further agitated if people around you wait for ‘the news’, resulting in anxiety and nervousness. As a result, people dealing with infertility, or miscarriage often choose to isolate themselves from their social groups to avoid embarrassing questions and discussions.


Loss of Self-Worth

Not being able to procreate when wished can leave an individual feeling a void in their lives, as if an aspect of their life is incomplete. According to Karine Bertram, a psychotherapist in New York, “this often results in guilt, and people start blaming themselves for the loss, therefore affecting their sense of self-worth. This sensation only aggravates with time, leading to severe emotional disorders such as depression, mood swings, and loss of interest in routine activities.” However, effective intervention is necessary to mitigate the risks of emotional disorders.


Uncontrolled Anger

It’s not uncommon to experience anger at random pregnant females or parents with little kids. Sometimes frustration affects marital life. This happens because anger is usually an expression of sadness. Where there is anger, sorrow looms.


Dealing with infertility

Coping with infertility is an intense experience, so it is crucial to acknowledge those emotions rather than suppress them. Once the couple realizes that they are unable to have a child naturally, it becomes difficult to share the feelings constructively. In that case, it’s helpful to consult with an infertility expert and a mental health provider to help the patient to become more open to evaluate the family-building alternatives. Overcoming treatment failure or miscarriage is challenging, and there is no shame in seeking support if you and your spouse are experiencing significant stress and remorse because of this journey.


How a Psychotherapist can help

Some studies have shown a relationship between anxiety, depression and infertility. It is still unclear if one causes the other, but some studies have shown that anxiety can prolong the time needed to achieve pregnancy. You probably heard people saying that after they felt mentally stable, or had decided to adopt, they became pregnant.

A psychotherapist can help:

  • To restructure the patient cognitive thinking
  • To normalize this traumatic experience
  • To provide support and stress management tools to decrease anxiety or depression
  • To understand the impact of the relationship of mind and body
  • To help patient to consider alternatives
  • To make this challenge less burdening and traumatic to marital life.

Support Groups are also helpful, addressing the sense of loneliness and helplessness, increasing hope and self-esteem.